Christian Dibisch: 3 reasons why tackle shows will struggle in 2021
Whatever the situation regarding COVID-19, I believe that tackle shows will have a difficult time next year. As the MD of World Fishing Tackle, I have been a regular exhibitor at EFTTEX for some time. COVID-19 has caused major issues for our European show as well as many others. But to be honest, I would say that show organisers face at least three big hurdles in order to survive into the future, regardless of the situation over lockdowns. For me, these are the three problems they face:
- The evidence was there before, and not only in our trade. Shows have been in decline for a long time. COVID has just accelerated the problem. Car shows in Germany are 30% smaller than they were three years ago, so how are fishing tackle shows going to go against that trend? What is their USP in the modern age? With everything happening immediately on websites and social media, shows don’t have any surprises any more.
- Then there is the fear factor. Even if the restrictions on shows are lifted next year, a lot of people will still be afraid to travel. Some companies may also still have travel bans in place for their staff. So numbers are going to be seriously affected. Once organisers announce safety rules perhaps 30% to 40% of exhibitors and visitors will decide not to go. Once that happens, others will question the value of their own investments in the show.
- Related to my first point, the problem is that shows are no longer the place where business is done. The only thing you really miss is the face-to-face contact. EFTTEX was once the best platform for that in Europe and we would also meet some of our suppliers there, but we do our business differently now.